Sprint Plots Dual-Mode CDMA-WiMax

Early adopters won't be prisoners of WiMax for long, as Sprint promises a dual-mode CDMA-WiMax card will let them roam by year's end

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

September 3, 2008

1 Min Read
Sprint Plots Dual-Mode CDMA-WiMax

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is so keen to keep its XOHM unit a WiMax-only play that the first dual-mode PC card to support CDMA cellular connections and the new wireless broadband technology will be delivered under the Sprint brand rather than the operator's "4G" marquee.

A dual-mode PC card for laptops will be useful for users that want to step beyond the city limits of early WiMax markets -- such as Baltimore, Washington D.C., or Chicago -- and still get some form of connectivity. Users with WiMax-only cards and devices will likely find that they cannot roam much outside of home markets as the network gets established in 2008 and 2009. (See Sprint Preps Four New WiMax Markets and Sprint: More on B'More.)

Sprint spokesman John Polivka tells Unstrung that the dual-mode card should be available before "the end of the year." It's not clear, though, if it's going to be available for the expected launch of WiMax services in Baltimore this month.

The card will be a "Sprint product" from the carrier's business unit and not branded under the XOHM WiMax service. Polivka says that XOHM is a "separate business unit" and that the carrier wants to keep it "WiMax-only."

That separation of cellular church and WiMax state should become more obvious before the end of the year as Sprint's WiMax assets become part of the "new" Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), a deal that both operators are hoping will close before the end of the fourth quarter. (See Clearwire: We're Still on Track.) Early WiMax devices, such as the Nokia 810 WiMax tablet, are starting to get listed online for sale.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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